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The Climate Reality Project


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Chemistry, Biology, Health

Resource Type

  • Videos, 3 minutes, 56 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

Climate Health Connection: Environmental Pollution

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  • This video, narrated by Téa Leoni, shows how the oil, coal, and gas industries can affect people's health, with a particular focus on the effects in children.
  • Students will learn that extracting, refining, and burning fossil fuels pollutes the air, soil, and water with toxic chemicals. 
  • The video concludes with clean energy alternatives, such as solar and wind energy, that can reduce or eliminate our reliance on fossil fuels. 
Teaching Tips


  • This compelling video discusses a number of chemicals, substances, and health conditions that could be explored further.
  • It uses engaging footage that will keep students engaged.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The video presents solar and wind energy as clean alternatives to fossil fuels, but it does not explain the challenges inherent to using these different types of energy sources.
  • Other resources to support background knowledge for this video include this video about chemical pollution and this video comparing various energy sources.


  • Science classes could study the effects of formaldehyde, lead, mercury, and sulfur dioxide on the human body.
  • Ethics or social studies classes could discuss the way that low-income communities are disproportionately affected by fossil fuel-related health problems.
  • Other resources on this topic include this video on the health risks associated with fracking, this SubjectToClimate lesson on Cancer Alley in Louisiana, and this article on the fossil fuel-related health issues that disproportionately affect low-income areas.
Scientist Notes
This video spotlights the impact of climate change on human health, it shows how low-income populations are disproportionately impacted by climate change. It finally raises awareness about transitioning to clean energy globally to protect human health while combating climate change. This is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
      • MS-LS1-5 Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.
    • LS3: Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
      • HS-LS3-2 Make and defend a claim based on evidence that inheritable genetic variations may result from: (1) new genetic combinations through meiosis, (2) viable errors occurring during replication, and/or (3) mutations caused by environmental factors.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
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